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I Have Never...

Monday, February 21, 2005

An aside. Email correspondence as invite to show etiquette...

Advice? Oo, I've never been used as a directing guru/mentor before... well thinking about it, that's no strictly true, but never mind.

Tech rehearsal - always have a designated 'second body' who handles the actors. Make it clear at the start of the rehearsal that you will be rehearsing the techs not the actors, and that if they have a question, then they should approach the second body. I've got an assistant director who's going to fulfill this role. Failing that, maybe a producer or stage manager, or the actor who appears most 'on story' (i.e. the story that you want to tell).

Actual shows/Motivation before 1st show - The artistic director at Theatre In The Mill swears that you should have a 'Henry V' speech prepared to roll out before the 1st show. This is your performance, and so should be treated as one. You should know exactly what you want to say, and in what order. It should be specific but not pedantic (ie, only focus on issues that really matter to the telling of the story. If there are creases which it would be nice to iron out, but aren't essential then forget about it - it's too late). Most of all, it should be positive, throughout. Now is not the time for sniping.

Uncertainty about interpretation - This is a toughy. To me, theatre is all about the community. If the community you have put together are not going the way you want them to, then maybe the issue rests with your idea... An old adage worth bearing in mind:-

'Tell people and they will forget, Teach people and they will remember, Involve people and they will learn'.
Unfortunately, involvement has to begin at the beginning. If you plough on with an idea that people don't buy into, an unsatisfactory performance will result. The only option at this late stage, is to question people to establish their specific concerns. Open questions should initiate the discussion, ie:-
How do you interpret the situation? Where would you take the text? When do you expect to resolve this situation? What would you do differently? Who has bought into this idea? If not, Why not?
Then, listen. If they make a point, and changing it does not affect your vision, then let them do it. It will help them to 'buy in'. One point per doubter should be sufficient to get them back on board.
Close the situation by asking a closed question, such as "Are you with me? Yes or No?" If you get yes, then cool. If it's a no, you need to rehash and go back to the start...
Hope you don't see this as the young buck teaching an old dog new tricks. Like the fact that you don't want to look at the blog yet. I'd agree it's probably worth saving it until after you've seen the show. It's like the extras on the Lord of the Rings Extended DVDs. If you watched them first, you would spoil the effect of the story. If you watch them after, it gives you a greater understanding of the process that went into it (Ironically, though, in the long run, it still spoils the story a bit - 'ignorance is bliss' etc. etc.).

Speaking of which, having read this email, I like it so much, I'm going to stick it on the blog.

Let me know how the show goes...

R-)

David Wake wrote:

Ric,

Very, very tempted. I've wanted to see something at the theatre for ages and we can chew the directing cud.

A TRAVESTY!!!!

Hmm, if I can see the show I don't want to know anything about it (as it were), so afterwards (either way).

I'm currently surrounded by stage blocks breathing in those lovely matt black fumes. All I want to do is sit in a corner gibbering.

Any advice for the last lap, tech rehearsal, actual shows, motivating cast (some are very unsure of my interpretation)?

Cheers,

David Wake.


----- Original Message -----
David,

You're more than welcome to come along and see the show. My house is going to double up as a guest house that weekend. Cheryl is already coming up from Cardiff to see it with her boyfriend. Why not join the throng?

As for a script. Hmmm, don't think there'll be one ('a travesty' I hear you cry). We may film it, I'm not quite sure yet. I'm blogging the show, though. This is a secret, (it is essential that no-one else is told) but why not check it out? It serves as a diary of the show, plus thoughts and ideas behind it.

http://ihaveneverplayuk.blogspot.com

Hope it wets your interest still further...

R-)

David Wake wrote:

Ric,

I checked it out, looks really interesting although my obvious comment is the dreadful, appalling and crass decision to do a devised piece - we writers need employment. ;-) I could make that, if not can I have a copy of the script?

I'm all at www.davidwake.com

"The Crucible" is next week and "Richard III (audience participation version)" is at Easter.

Cheers,

David Wake.

----- Original Message -----
Father Ted didn't happen. However, I Have Never is going swimmingly. It's a devised piece and we are on March 11th & 12th. Check it out...
http://www.bradford.ac.uk/theatre/never.php

What have you never done?

R-)

David Wake wrote:

Ric,

Cast him in the play - easy.

What are you up to? How did the Father Ted thing go?

Cheers,

David Wake.

----- Original Message -----
How did you get Fatboy Slim to appear on the poster?

Ric

David Wake wrote:

Dear All,

Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" is on at the Hexagon Theatre, Midlands Arts Centre (mac) from Wed 23rd Feb to Sat 26th Feb, 7:30pm, tickets are selling quite rapidly. I'm the director.

Hopefully see you there.

Cheers,

David Wake.

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